[5:56am Sunday morning. Gave up on trying to sleep: 4:52am. Time spent on Effbook and Instagram: let’s not talk about it.]
I know. Stand-up comic and shy? Oh dear God, yes. Wanting to say words into a microphone in front of complete strangers is not remotely indicative of social grace or any desire to have day-to-day conversation. Some stand-ups are outgoing. I just don’t know many of them. Here’s a short list of some shy funny folks, including Jim Carrey.
One wonderful and unforeseen benefit of being pregnant – especially 8ish months pregnant – is that I now have something to talk about, something to contribute to a given conversation. My massive stomach is unavoidable. I don’t even have to initiate. People talk to me!
“You must get so sick of people asking you how you’re feeling and about your due date.”
“No, it’s great. Really.”
Is this your first? What are you having? How far along are you?
Much like when I first got engaged, I now have something in common with most of my coworkers and, let’s be honest, most of humanity in my age group and older folks. But unlike getting engaged, being heavily pregnant is clearly visible to absolutely everyone I come into contact with and gives them an in to talking to me. Throughout my life, I’ve gotten into so many elevators, stood in countless lines, used so many bathrooms in complete silence. I’ve avoided most interaction beyond a perfunctory “good morning.” I can’t even begin to guess how many times I’ve said “good morning” and have been completely ignored. Oh, New York.
I don’t hate people. I don’t hate talking to people. I’ve just never considered myself very good at it. I’ve always had shitty eye contact, which I work on diligently, using such exercises as the inverted triangle. In an effort to be less self-conscious, I try to gently put the focus on the other person (to quote the “repetition” exercise I learned at The Atlantic Acting School), ask open ended questions, listen and look for facial and physical cues all the while hating myself because for most people, a simple “How was your weekend?” on a Monday morning is NOT A BIG FUCKING DEAL.
So, thank you, little girl growing inside of me. Thank you for giving me a chance to interact with the world. I suspect you’ll help me even more once you’re out here with me.